How to Reheat Ribs

Ribs, ribs, glorious ribs. One of our all-time favorite BBQ staples. Fresh off the grill they’re incredible, however trying to recapture that unique BBQ taste on leftovers can be a struggle. Fear no more with our 5 easy steps to BBQ heaven: This is how to reheat ribs.

how to reheat ribs

How to reheat ribs in the oven

The oven is one of the most effective ways to reheat ribs without losing their taste. It is also ideal if you want to preheat large amounts of ribs.

You will need…

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 121 degrees Celsius or 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The low temperature prevents your ribs from overcooking, shrinking and becoming sturdy. It’s not fun to eat shrunk and hard meat, right?

Step 2

Thaw your ribs, if applicable. Slather barbecue sauce on the meaty part of the ribs on all sides.

Step 3

Fold out two layers of aluminum foil then wrap them around your leftover ribs. If you didn’t smear any sauce on the ribs, add a 1/4-cup of water, broth, stock or wine to the pieces once they’re wrapped. This will prevent the rib pieces from drying out as they reheat.

Step 4

Put the ribs on the baking tray and place them in the oven. Let them heat for about one hour.

Step 5

Now remove the foil from your heated ribs and set the oven to “Broil.” Allow the pieces to sit on the oven for 5-10 minutes. Make sure to leave the oven door open on one side, so the oven’s thermostat does not turn off. Let the ribs rest for five minutes before serving.

pork bbq ribs on plate

#2 Reheat ribs on the grill

Grilling is another great way to reheat your ribs. You can either use a charcoal or a gas grill. Before grilling the pieces, make sure the grill is free of any remnant of previous grilling sessions.


  • Aluminum foil
  • Barbecue sauce
  • A meat thermometer


1. Thaw your leftover ribs. You can leave them at room temperature for about 30 minutes or more.

2. Coat both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce.

3. Heat your grill to about 225°F or 121°C with the lead closed. On a gas grill, this is a medium setting.

4. Wrap the leftover ribs in two layers of aluminum foil.

5. Place the leftover ribs on the indirect heat zone until the ribs come to about 66°C or 155°F. A meat thermometer will come in handy when determining the internal meat temperature.

6. Take the ribs out of the foil and grill directly over direct heat for 5-10 minutes on both sides until the sauce is bubbly.

7. Remove the ribs and serve them hot.

#3 Reheating ribs in the microwave

The microwave is the easiest and fastest way to turn your cold leftover ribs into dinner. However, if you microwave them the wrong way, you could end up with ribs that are mushy and have a bad taste.

A lot of people cringe at the idea of reheating BBQ food this way, but actually the microwave is a great backup for reheating brisket, ribs, and other  barbecued meat.


  • Paper towels
  • A plastic container or plastic wrap


1. Line the plastic container with paper towels.

2. Place the ribs in the container and cover them with paper towels to prevent splatters in your microwave oven.

3. Put the container in the microwave and set it to medium heat.

4. Note that heating times may vary depending on the type of microwave. Therefore, you may have to reheat the ribs about 3-5 minutes at a time until they are completely hot.

5. Serve with barbecue sauce, if desired.

#4 Reheating ribs with steam

A steam session is a nice, gentle way to warm up your leftover ribs. While it may not be as fast as a microwave, you won’t have to worry about your rib pieces drying out.


  • A foil pouch


1. Place a steamer basket in a crock pot with a quarter a cup of water at the bottom. Bring the water to a simmer.

2. Now wrap the ribs in a foil pouch and place it in the basket.

3. Place a lid over the top and allow the ribs to steam for about 10 minutes. Avoid checking the meat while it’s steaming since you’ll let the steam out consequently lowering the temperature inside the steamer.

4. Transfer the pieces to a serving dish and enjoy your meal.

#5 Reheating ribs with a sous vide machine

Sous vide machine is an ideal choice for those who prefer no-fuss reheating methods that eliminate the risk of overcooking.


  • A sealable plastic bag


1. Heat the water in the sous vide to a temperature slightly below the original cooking temperature. For instance, if you cooked your ribs to 150°F, heat the water to about 145°F.

2. Seal the rib pieces in a watertight, sealable plastic bag then immerse them in the water. Wait for the ribs to heat to your desired temperature. With sous vide, you are sure that your ribs won’t burn no matter how long they cook.

3. Remove your ribs from the sous vide then either place them under a medium high grill or a broiler with a thin layer of barbecue sauce if desired to get a nice crust.

How do you like to reheat ribs? Let us know in the comments below!

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